January 31, 2015

How Google Tests Software

For the past few years, I've made sure to take a few extra weeks off around the Christmas holidays to brush up on my skillset, do a bit of research on new technologies coming out, and try to get in shape -- software testing wise -- for the new year. Back in 2013 I kept hearing of one particular book that had been published the year before: How Google Tests Software.

January 30, 2015

Agile Software Development

I've been working with Agile since 2005, and I must say that I find it to be the most fun! If you love working with people as a team, really prize collaboration, and "having good team gel" is a requirement for you at any job, the Agile Software Development methodology is for you.

How Agile Started

How we create software has changed a lot in the past decade, and it started with a manifesto written back in February 2001.

The Agile Manifesto:

  • "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • "Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • "Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • "Responding to change over following a plan

January 26, 2015

Before Waterfall

Interested in the History of Software Development Methodologies?

... Of course you are! Who wouldn't be? 

Here are a few ancestors to the waterfall method: 

Production of Large Computer Programs, 1956

Adapted from a presentation he had given at an event sponsored by the Navy Mathematical Computing Advisory Panel and the Office of Naval Research in June 1956, Herbert D. Benington talked about his experience working on the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory.

Waterfall + QA

Take the product owners, product managers, and business analysts who come up with business requirements for a software product that customers might need. Take a bunch of software architects who design the blueprints of the software product. Add the designers and user experience people to sketch the look-and-feel of the software product. Software developers to construct the product. Quality assurance engineers to test the product. How does the team work together to build, test, and launch the product?

That is the software development process.

January 24, 2015

What is a QA Engineer?

You may have noticed on your neighborhood software development team a few people where coding the product isn't their main role. They aren't artists, so you know they aren't web designers on the User Experience team designing the user interface. They don't usually gather the initial business requirements, so they aren't business analysts. And every other word they talk about contains the word "test": Test Matrix, browser testing, test strategies, test cases, test scripts, regression testing. They are the Software Quality Assurance Engineers.